Category Archive: Marketing, Networking & Social Media

Don’t Make These Social Media Mistakes – What to do Instead

~by Haley Lynn Gray~


social media mistakesOne of the good things in life is that sometimes we’re successful in spite of being our own worst enemies and shooting ourselves in the foot over and over again.  

That’s the good news.  

I see a lot of entrepreneurs making some basic social media mistakes that are easily avoided entirely, and that are costing them quite a bit of money. In the worst case scenario, if you’re like them, you can give potential customers the mistaken impression that you are out of business.  

Here are some common social media mistakes entrepreneurs make when trying to promote their business:

1. They aren’t consistent. If they go for months and months without posting, they can confuse people about who they are and what their business is about, and leave everyone wondering if they’re still in business.

What to do instead: Update the post at least once a month, or use a scheduler such as Buffer to schedule your posts ahead of time. Not sure what to post? Check out my guide on social media posting to get some ideas. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to be consistent. Not ready to keep posting regularly? Then consider deleting your page.

2. They try to sell too hard. They post constantly about their business, and try to sell to everyone they meet. Problem is, people generally don’t appreciate being at the other end of a sales pitch.

What to do instead: Post a sales post about once every 8 or so posts. That means you need to come up with other content. Try testing different sorts of posts to see what gets the best reaction from your audience.

3. They don’t build relationships. All things being equal, people will buy from those they know, like and trust. The relationships that entrepreneurs build will be vital to business.

What to do instead: Get to know people by name. Comment on their pages. Meet people for coffee or talk on the phone and find vital partnerships for your business. The more you talk to people and build connections, the better your business will do. Build those and your business will thrive.

4. They don’t play it like a long game. Social media is not a fast thing. Building a following and getting clients for your business does not happen overnight. It takes time to tell your story and build relationships. If you expect to get clients instantly, this is not going to work for you.

What to do instead: Start small and build up from there. Take the opportunity to build a lot of relationships. Keep your day job and keep plugging away at it until you make enough money to transition out.

social media mistakes5. They spam friends and people who aren’t friends. People come online to be social, and hang out. They may decide to buy, but they never, ever come online to be sold to. I get messaged by people constantly who I’ve never had any interaction with, and no relationship with, who want me to buy from them, join their team, etc. It is a huge turnoff.

What to do instead: Be of service. Talk to people at least a few times before you ask them to buy. Accept “no” for an answer, and understand that usually means “not right now”. They may come back at a later date to buy from you.

6. They use tricky means to get people into their Facebook Groups. A VIP group is a beautiful thing. Adding all of your friends to your VIP group? Sometimes they run parties that require the people attending the party to be added to someone’s group to participate.  Adding people to a group without their consent generally annoys them and constitutes a social media faux pas.  

What to do instead: Message people to ask them to join your group. More often than not, they are happy to be asked. Invite people from your business page, and check out my guide on how to build a Facebook group. I built my group of over 55,000 members without ever adding a friend who didn’t want to be added. You can do the same.

7. They create a Facebook account that is in their business name. Facebook Terms and Conditions do not allow you to create an account as a business.  

What to do instead: You need to create an account as an individual, and then create a business page. Yes; I understand that you won’t get as much engagement as you might from a personal page. Instead ask business associates to comment on your posts to help build engagement and traffic.

There are so many unwritten rules on social media that you can easily trip over them.  Know that if you approach social media with an eye towards being a good social person, you will have great success with your business. Post content, see what resonates, and post more of the good stuff.

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:

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Understanding the Science of Attracting Customers to Your Business

~by Hannah Whittenly~


attracting customersDiscovering exactly what customers find most appealing has always been a challenge for business marketers. This is especially true today when major headlines and digital reach can rapidly transform consumer expectations. A glimpse into behavioral psychology, however, has offered some insights into why customers choose one business over another.

Here are a few things for you to take into consideration for attracting customers:

Pricing vs Value

If consumers think that your prices are high, they look elsewhere. “Discount” prices can give a perception of poor quality or service. A $2,000 designer handbag isn’t really a hundred times better than the $20 department store knockoff, but people prize it much more.

The prices you advertise should reflect the reputation of your brand relative to the competition. If people want your product badly enough, they’ll pay more for it. When you establish higher value, higher prices follow.

Innovation and Outreach

One trend in today’s business is a stress on innovation. Customers are attracted to something that seems bolder and better. Yet, constantly generating new products is difficult to maintain for smaller businesses.

Instead, you should apply your creativity in cost-efficient marketing campaigns like email and social media. People are still receptive to personalized outreach. In one study done by

Brigham Young University, hundreds of random strangers were sent Christmas cards, and fully one-third reciprocated.


People are social by nature. Most people will abandon a purchase even where there’s definite value if they feel frustrated or insulted. Sales and floor staff, as well as customer service teams, should be prompt, friendly and informed. Rude, slow, neglectful, or ineffective service is bad service.

attracting customersSavvy consumers recognize when they’re being pressured, patronized or hearing scripted sales pitches. Be sure your staff is customer-centric in their responsibilities and well-trained in the “soft skills” of human interaction. Never forget human ego and self-esteem. Customers will react negatively if you’re bashing theirs’.

Business Premises

For offline businesses like shops and restaurants, a customer’s reaction depends on the visual picture they get at your location. Dirty and poorly maintained premises automatically lower perceptions of your quality and service.

If you don’t want customers to move on immediately, it’s important to keep paint fresh, windows clean, debris removed, and parking lots in good repair. If your parking lot has tons of potholes in it, then it can become quite an irritating place to be. That is why you should consider hiring a professional paving company to fill them up. The same goes for interior spaces and floors. If the first impression of your business isn’t positive, you’re losing customers.

An understanding of how your customers respond to every aspect of your business is important. Marketing tricks and trends may come and go, but basic human psychology isn’t going to change.

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Hannah WhittenlyMeet the Author: Hannah Whittenly

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism.

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The Definitive List of Social Media Post Ideas

~by Haley Lynn Gray~


My business coaching and social media clients frequently tell me that they draw a blank when trying to come up with ideas for what to post on social media. Thus, I decided to come up with a comprehensive list of ideas for posts that you can use for your social media.

If you get stuck, refer to this list of social media post ideas to get yourself unstuck.

social media post ideas1-Post a picture of yourself.  Many people simply don’t post enough pictures of themselves. Our clients want to know what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.

2-Post about a holiday. is a great website with so many holidays and arcane options for holidays. There are almost always fabulous choices for holidays you can celebrate. From Blueberry Pancake day to National Sibling day, there are holidays galore in there.  

3-Post your blog posts.  If you’ve written blog posts, share them. You can and should share them over and over again on platforms like Twitter. You can also share them again on Facebook and LinkedIn, but you will need to spread out posting of the content over a period of time.

4-Create custom graphics using sites like You can put together quotes, memes and other little cute things. You can use photos and graphics provided by Canva or you can upload your own images.

5-Share your favorite or interesting videos that resonate with your audience.

6-Post pictures of your products or services.  You don’t want to miss this opportunity to highlight what you’re selling.

7-Tell people what you are up to in your business.  

8-Ask questions about topics that are interesting to your audience.  Questions can be fun, silly, serious or that require thought.

9-Run a 3, 5 or 7 day goal-oriented challenge.  Give people a goal and have them work towards it. This can be a great audience building exercise, as people will want to learn more about your business. This works particularly well for coaches and entrepreneurs who work with clients.

10-Ask your audience to post a picture of themselves or their pets. Make it more interesting by proposing a theme. 

11-Share other people’s content.  This is called curated content and is an important part of showing your expertise. The more you can show that you are involved with the world around you, and are sharing resources, the more of an expert you will appear to be.

12-Guest appearances. If you appear on any other blogs, podcasts, tv shows, radio shows, or other media, share it with your followers.

13-Share your accomplishments and milestone achievements with your audience.  

14-Fill in the blank posts work well. For example, “If I could go anywhere on vacation for free it would be to _____”.

15-Polls.  Facebook has a built in poll feature. Usually I just prefer to ask a question – such as, “What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?”

16-Statistics or data.  People love to argue over statistics, but be careful what you post! I learned to check every statistic before I post because sometimes they are wrong. And people enjoy discovering that you were wrong and posting about it.  

17-Infographics.  You can easily create infographics on But there are so many really good infographics out there on Pinterest that can be shared as well. I particularly like sharing information on teenage driving safety and causes that I care about in addition to work-related posts.

18-Post beautiful pictures.  You can find lovely pictures on Pixabay and Pexels for free.  There are so many wonderful places that have images which are free for commercial use. Just be sure to read the rules on the website carefully. You don’t want to be guilty of copyright infringement.

19-Share your own artwork, poetry, or photography.  People want to get to know YOU, and sharing these can show a deeper, more meaningful side.

20-Link to a controversial blog post or topic you feel deeply about. Lately, I’ve been posting about equal pay.

21-TED Talks are frequently a good source of information, especially for entrepreneurs.

22-Ask your followers for feedback on products or services.  People love to give feedback, and beta-test products, services, websites, and even get a sneak peek at your books or videos.

23-Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration.  I keep Pinterest boards specifically for inspiration. You can make those boards either public or private. If you attribute the source correctly, this can be a gold mine of fun.  

24-Share valuable resources and tools.  There are many times that I actually refer people to other experts in the field who know more about a particular subject than I do.

25-Facebook Live or other videos get a lot of views and interaction.  You may find it difficult to get interaction on a business page, but you will be shocked at the number of views you end up getting.

26-Offer a free download – a free ebook, a free guide, a checklist.  That will help you build your email list while building your tribe’s loyalty.  

27-Ask people what they would like to see.  You may be surprised at the responses you get.

28-Profile an employee or a valued client.  By sharing who works with you, and who you work with, you will offer insights into your business and also help shine the spotlight on clients.

29-Case studies are powerful tools for education and empowerment.  Please share lots of great case studies to be used as educational content. We used them extensively at Duke University and I think that they are a phenomenal tool.

30-Ask for reviews or testimonials.  Most us need more reviews or testimonials on our social media pages or on Google. In fact, those reviews are worth their weight in gold.

31-Ask your fans to submit photos that you can feature on your social media.  Fan photos are fabulous, and the quality can be phenomenal.

32-Share a favorite book or a book that you’ve recently read.  Bonus points if you include a review and a link to it on Amazon. (Double bonus points if you leave a review on Amazon!)

social media post ideas33-Recommend your favorite products and services.  I send out an email periodically with links to the products and services that I use to run my business. I am an affiliate with some of them, and this gives me the opportunity to make a few dollars as well as recommend products and services that I stand behind.  

34-Post tips.  I have found that creating a list of tips in my social media scheduler ( and having it post those periodically is great help. People love them, comment on them and share them. By creating a repository of those tips, I’ve got them for the long haul.

35-Share time management tips.  People appreciate learning more about how other business owners manage their time and how they’ve managed to become successful while building their business. By sharing this kind of information, you become even more of a great resource, and more human and real.

36-Collect quotes from other industry experts and post them on your website.

37-Start conversations with industry leaders.  You may not get an answer, but you should at least try.

38-Create photo collages.  You can use Canva or PicMonkey to create one.

39-Show ‘then and now’ photos.  People love to see what your first website looked like or where you were 5 years ago.  

40-Share comics or memes.  Show a bit of humor and people will love you. One of the best examples is George Takei. Millions of people follow him and share his hilarious, witty memes.

41-Recommend a colleague or associate.  By bringing visibility and attention to your colleagues you will help them grow your business, and they in turn will help you grow yours!

42-Share breaking industry news.  You can set alerts on Google to alert you when there is new news that affects your industry.  

43-Post inspirational videos from Youtube or Facebook.  There are so many fun, inspirational and educational videos — the hardest decision is where to start.

44-Ask people to guess or predict the results of major events.  This can be about who will win an election, or a sports match or tournament.

45-Ask True/False questions.  Or Fact/Fiction. You can use as a source of interesting urban legends.  

46-Share the latest news about your business.  Did your business just hit a major milestone? New employee? Share it, preferably with photos!  

47-Post coupons and links to someone else’s promotion or sale.  I find that telling people about sales and promotions gets them excited. (And who doesn’t love a good sale?)

48-Share some personal details.  I have people who I swear follow me for stories about my kids. It amuses them to see me get hit and held up by a certain child of mine who likes to shoot nerf bullets at me while I’m on Facebook Live. Obviously, you don’t want to overshare, but some details show that you’re more than just a business owner — that you’re a real person too.

49-Share stories about your company in the news. That tends to spark more news.

50-Look for opportunities to appear on podcasts as a guest.  Then once the show goes live, post that on your social media feeds.

51-Guest blog for other blogs and other news media sites. Then share these on your social media pages. You’ll generate great backlinks to your websites and buzz about your company.

52-Share awards that your company has won. Done properly, this helps build trust with your followers.

53-Hold a flash sale.  People love a good buy, and by running random sales, you will get them looking for more.

54-Share the latest industry research.  Do you have some studies or statistics you can share? (Bonus points if they become an infographic)

55-Give a shout out or thank you to your fans.  People will appreciate being acknowledged.

56-Give expert advice and information about a topic of interest to your followers.  This helps establish your reputation online.

57-Do a series of social media posts around a topic or theme.  I frequently put together a series of topics for a month or two or three that tie together. I also create custom graphics for all of the posts to tie them together.

58-Get employees or fans to guest post for you.  The more the better.

59-Interview guests on Facebook Live.  You can interview other industry experts, and in the process you’ll further establish your own credibility.

60-Do a video about a current event in your business on Facebook Live, YouTube or other format.

61-Create a compilation of industry news. Top 10 lists are always appreciated.

62-Create a list of books to read.  These can be industry-related or even books for enjoyment.

63-Support a cause or charity and encourage your audience to support the same cause.

64-Run a 3, 5 or 7 day self-improvement challenge.  As an example, you can challenge people to improve their health, organization, time management or some other aspect of their lives.

65-Host a give-away of something good.  Different social media platforms have different rules regarding contests, so you will need to make sure to comply with all applicable rules.

social media post ideas66-Pull out interesting points from your blog posts and share those.  You can link back to your original blog so that the readers get “the rest of the story”.

67-Make predictions about where the industry is headed.  

68-Post life hacks.  Just as there are many websites dedicated to Ikea hacks, take the opportunity to show novel and unexpected uses of your products in real life.

69-Link to comments on your blog that are particularly interesting or helpful.

70-Create FAQs to answer questions that you get asked a lot.

71-Share your story and back history with your audience.  People like to know where you’ve come from and what your background is.

72-Just as you share where you’ve come from, share where you see the your company going, as well as your vision.  

73-Share pertinent pieces of information or background on topics from your education.  For some, when we leave school we want to forget where we’ve been, but there are many extremely helpful resources or pieces of information that will be helpful to our readers.

74-Connect people to a helpful Facebook or LinkedIn group.  This is just another way for you to show your value and helpfulness.

75-Post a link to an old newsletter.

76-“Throwback Thursday”.  Post about something in the history of your company, whether it’s a picture of an old logo, website or story about the way things used to be.

77-Tell a funny story.  People love stories and anecdotes from our lives.  

78-Stalk your competitors – on social media, that is.  Look at what your competitors are sharing and find a way to do an even better job than they do.

79-Share (or post a link to) an employee biography.

80-Give an award for employee of the month.  Then share the information on social media.

81-Search Wikipedia for an interesting topic.  Add to the content and quote it on social media.

82-Answer a question on Quora – “A place to share knowledge and better understand the world”.

83-Answer questions you receive.  If someone has sent you a question, answer their question publicly as either a video response or in a mini blog post.

84-Share a funny commercial.

85-Run a photograph contest by asking viewers to submit photos to be voted on.

86-Share a great music video.

87-Write a post in Haiku format and challenge your readers to respond in Haiku.

88-Share your best time management tips learned as an entrepreneur.  We can all use more time and find better ways to manage our time.

89-Share a favorite piece of artwork.

90-Create a story and run that story thread through your business.  

91-Get a mascot and show pictures of the mascot in action.  I have a pink pig named “Oink”. I take photos of him taking a bath, getting into trouble in the kitchen, and more. My friend has a frog who drinks a lot of wine at her vineyard.

92-Post inspirational quotes from your favorite role models.  

93-Ask people to post a picture of their pets.  

94-Show a picture of your desk.  People are intrigued by our offices and desks. They may even agree to show you their desks. (My desk is always a pile of papers)

95-Post a “thank you” to your clients.  Let them know how much you appreciate each and every one of them.

96-Comment on world topics.  But be sensitive to the political climate – be sure to stop your posts and feeds if there is a significant world crisis or news event.

97-Give examples of what NOT to do.  Whether it’s fashion or how to cause yourself to be blacklisted by Google. A ‘what not to do’ tip can be extremely powerful.

98-Ask your audience what questions they would like answered.  You can structure your responses around their questions.

99-Conduct a live Q & A session.  Announce in advance when you will be available and show up to answer questions.

100-Promote your products and services lightly.  You should promote only once after every 10 or so other posts; the goal is to draw in customers. The reason I mention this last is because you should keep your business promotions to a minimum.

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:

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My Comprehensive Guide for Finding New Clients on Facebook

~by Haley Lynn Gray~


I’ve written general articles in the past on how to get clients using Facebook, but this will be a more comprehensive guide.

finding new clients


Let me preface this by saying that there are several general ways to get clients. But if you aren’t careful about how you approach people on social media, you may end up getting put into Facebook jail. So exercise a bit of caution when using some of these techniques. I will tell you which techniques tend to be abused and which ones can land you in hot water.


1. Personal Facebook Pages. This is by far the most common approach used to get clients and customers. It’s worth noting that this is a violation of Facebook’s terms and conditions. If you are using your personal page heavily for business, Facebook can and will put your account into purgatory.

The way you can get around this is to post only “occasionally” about your business, or to post a wide variety of non-promotional content on your personal page. That means you may have to schedule content to appear on your personal page in addition to the promotional content you publish. It is important that your promotional content is less than 30% or so of your total posts.

You can promote your business, but for best results, you will want to make sure you take time to build relationships. I encourage you to make friends in Facebook groups, and then send them friend requests to continue the discussion.

2. Facebook Business Pages. This is the official way to run ads and get clients and customers via Facebook. They are designed to be the public face of your business. The problem is that Facebook has made it harder and harder for your content to be seen by anyone, and organic reach is nearly dead.

Or is it?  

What I’ve learned is that you have to post interesting, engaging content that your clients and customers want to see. That means posting videos, graphics and questions — and taking the time to post interesting and valuable content. The more you focus on drawing people into your conversation, the better your results will likely be.

The other thing you should do is comment on other people’s business pages as your page. This helps generate more visibility for your business page. Unfortunately, you can’t join a Facebook group as a business page, so any businesses you see as users in groups are actually people who have named their profile after their business. This also is a violation of Facebook’s terms and conditions. Facebook can and will close down your account for doing this.

3. Facebook Groups can be a fantastic way to grow your business. There are a many different types of groups, such as social groups, special interest groups and business groups. Some groups are focused on Buying/Selling/Trading. Just be sure you read, understand and abide by the rules for each group as they do vary.

Too often people try to be involved in about 25 or 30 different Facebook groups. That can be  utterly overwhelming. The point of many of the social, special interest or business groups is to build relationships, and of course, engagement. By building relationships, you increase your chances of growing your business. By going into groups, posting and engaging with people every day, you will build a flock of raving fans. It is funny how even when you can’t promote your business, if people know what you do, they will refer to you.

So what ratio do I recommend?

finding new clientsFor every one promotional post, engage with others on their threads at least five times on a daily basis. I’ve seen and experienced significant growth and engagement in my own business when I do this.

A word of caution: do not spam groups. You should never only post without ever engaging with others. There are a number of group owners who take offense to this, and they will remove and block you from their groups.

4. Private Messaging can be a great way to find clients on Facebook. By building relationships with people and messaging them via private messenger on Facebook, you can invite them to shop with you even in situations where you can’t post in a group or on your personal page.

A few rules, though.. Make sure that you’re taking time to actually engage with people before pitching them your “opportunity”. I blocked one chick who kept messaging about how much I “needed” her for her services. She wanted to charge me $500 to turn my life around and lose weight, because hey, if I lose weight I’ll be more successful.

If you get blocked too many times and reported, Facebook will shut down your account.  That won’t help your business at all!

Getting clients on Facebook isn’t hard; it’s about building relationships. Ultimately, the more successful you are at building relationships with people and cultivating those relationships, the more successful your business will be. It is far more effective to build solid relationships with a few people than to spread yourself too thin. I’ve been very successful at building a huge following, but it started with focusing on each individual in front of me, and treating each person as if they’re special, and like, well, they’re real people with real feelings.  

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:

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Why I’ll Never Promise You $1,000 a Week or Instant Success

~by Haley Lynn Gray~


instant successConfession time. The posts that promise you’ll make $1,000 a week or some other unrealistic amount of money drive me bonkers. I see people piling on like rats on a sinking ship, and I just shake my head. And if it’s a post in my Facebook group, Women’s Entrepreneur Network, I hit delete as quickly as I possibly can. 


It drives me bonkers, I tell ya.

You should see the steam coming out of my ears!


Because many of these posts are scams. Anyone who promises you that you’re going to make a certain amount of money by working just two hours a week from home is lying through their teeth. 

1. There are no promises or guarantees in business, except that if you come in and do your part, you’re likely to succeed. Doing your part here is critical, and what the word “succeed” means to each person is quite different.

2. Depending on economic conditions, skill sets, personality, alignment of the planets, and too many other factors, making a large amount of money per week may be possible, but it also might not be. 

instant success3. Too many people make promises that they can’t deliver. What I CAN promise you is that if you follow the basic principles of business, you’ll get more visibility and ultimately get more clients. The more effort you make, especially in the beginning, the better you’ll do. Inspired action is great, but you can’t sit around waiting for inspiration to hit, then only take action when you feel that the stars are in proper alignment or the moon is in the right phase. You have to do your part.

4. Please for the love of all that is holy, if someone is promising you can get rich quick with their program or system, STOP! Take a few moments and figure out if they’re genuine or a scam. Take a second for that reality check, please, before you get taken for a ride. I see it all day long in my Women’s Entrepreneur Network Facebook group, and I spend endless hours deleting the get rich quick posts. And if I happen to miss one and let it post, I frequently see replies to them. EEK! 


The reality is that there are no guarantees in life or in business. There is no overnight or instant success. Mindset is important, but so is sticking with it, and so is consistency. 


You can do this. I have faith in you. That’s why I started my Facebook group – to support you, and other women like you – to be a community that supports one another.

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:

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It’s True, Facebook Likes Don’t Matter. But Here’s What Does.

~by Haley Lynn Gray~


facebook likesSo many entrepreneurs are focused on numbers and results in their businesses. That’s a good thing. But there may be a point where we are measuring numbers and focusing on numbers which don’t actually lead to an increase in sales or visibility for our business.  

What I’m talking about here are Facebook ‘likes’. When I started building Leadership Girl’s Facebook page, I was super focused on getting more likes on my page. If only I got to X number, I’d have clients coming in the door.  

So, I did paid Facebook Like campaigns and saw my numbers shoot up. But, the engagement on my Facebook page dropped like a rock towards the bottom of a pool.

I also did Facebook Like Ladders. Those are discussions where you have everyone in a group like your page. Yeah. People would like my page, and then a few days later they’d unlike it. Facebook penalized me because I would get a bunch of likes then get a bunch of unlikes. That worked about as well as the paid Facebook Like campaigns.

None of those people converted to clients. 0. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Effort, time and money completely wasted.  

Then I started doing some research. I learned that Facebook had been changing its algorithms. They do this test to see how long someone looks at your content, and if they look at it or engage with it, they show it to more people. If they scroll past it super fast, then according to Facebook, it must not be interesting, so Facebook shows it to fewer people.  

Getting all those likes from people who didn’t really like me or my page was actually causing me problems! I was getting seen by fewer and fewer people.

To add insult to injury, Facebook changed its algorithms so that if you post just a link to a blog post, they show it to very few people. It’s like a jealous boyfriend who doesn’t want to share traffic.

So what do you do instead?

facebook likesYou focus on putting up pictures, and videos, and short posts with a link and a separate graphic to your blog. You can still drive a lot of traffic to your website, if you do it carefully.  By focusing on sharing content on your Facebook page itself, you’ll get better scores from Facebook. Focus on pulling people in and getting them engaged. Do you tell a story? I try to tell lots of stories to make this whole social media thing more interesting and engaging and to help make it more relatable.

People like stories, and wit and humor. How can you appropriately tie those into your business? How can you engage people? Think about what you can post that people would want to see. What types of posts do people tend to engage with? Some of my most successful posts are the ones that are a little bit sarcastic and unexpected.

Ask your customers to join and engage. Post pictures of them and tag them in those photos.  Ask them what they would find useful and helpful.

Remember, people come onto social media to be entertained and to hang out with their friends. They might decide to buy if something catches their fancy. They just don’t like being sold to directly.   

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:

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How to Make Your Business Brand Really Stand Out and Shine

~by Melleigha Nichols~


business brand board branding

Brand Board

When starting out, a lot of entrepreneurs may think that branding is just a logo. That is simply not true. Your brand is ANYTHING a customer or client can see.

That means that your website is part of your brand. So is your social media accounts, your photos, your chosen fonts, your colors, and so much more. To really stand out, your brand should be cohesive. 

Everything a potential customer or client sees should be part of the whole. Social media graphics should use the same fonts that are used on your websites. The same colors should be used again and again.

A good recommendation is to choose two or three fonts. The first font should be a “fancier” font. For example, a brush script or something bold. The secondary font should be something easy to read that is complementary to your first font.

business brand boardThe same can be said for colors. Choose one or two stand out colors and another one or two to complement. An example is a bright blue with yellow, black and grey for complementary colors.

When beginning the process of building a brand, find photos that make you think of what you want your brand to stand for. It could be a photo of a floral arrangement in the color scheme you want, representing that you want the brand to feel feminine. Or it could be a photo of an organized desk, representing a need to feel professional.

Most branding experts will recommend putting together a brand board. They may even do this themselves. This is where you can see everything in one place. A brand board will include your logo, any alternative logos, your fonts, your colors, and inspiration photos. It is a great way to be able to see everything together so you can keep your brand cohesive.

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Melleigha Nichols

Meet the Author: Melleigha Nichols

Melleigha “Mia” Nichols is the owner of Moonglow Branding, a company dedicated to helping businesses grow through branding and building their websites. When not working tirelessly for her clients, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband of 8 years, their many fur-babies and her parents. She currently resides in her hometown in Missouri.

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Suggestions for Working with a Digital Design Agency

~by Dixie Somers~


If you’re the owner of a small business or start-up, you’ve probably read or heard about working with a design and development company at least once. Their praises are sung across the web and within local communities, but what makes them so great? Are they really an essential asset to your company, or can you go without one for a while and only turn to them when you need to strongly market yourself or solidify your brand?

digital agency

What Does a Digital agency Do?

Digital agencies wear many hats; while some may choose to focus their services toward graphic and web design, many offer full-service packages that include everything from designing logos to building websites and coming up with social media management strategies. If you’re trying to build an online reputation and establish a strong presence through a website and on social media, a digital agency can either help you build from the ground up or improve existing profiles and sites.

Know What You Want Beforehand

Before you even reach out to a digital agency, assess your business’s current online situation. Do you have a website? If so, are you happy with its design and layout? If not, what would you like to change? Do you have social media profiles set up and connected to your site? Do you publish content at all, or are you working with a static page?

Ask yourself what you want before reaching out to an agency. Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with industry lingo. Experts are able to translate “I want my website to stand out more” and “My social media isn’t gaining any followers”, and turn it into a successful design or strategy.

Be Open to New Ideas

One major frustration for designers and social media strategists at digital agencies is hesitancy or downright refusal to implement strategies from clients. Even if you aren’t sure how a strategy works, be willing to give it a shot and learn along the way. A good digital agency won’t just throw you into the lion’s den either; they’ll work with you step by step and teach you how to properly maintain the success their strategy brings about.

Bring Examples

digital agencyThe back-and-forth of the revision process can take literally months, and it wastes resources and time for everyone involved. Before you work with a digital agency, bring examples of sites and social media accounts you aspire to have for yourself. These examples should point to specific elements you like such as a layout, color scheme or the type of content that a company creates for their followers. Be as concrete as possible in what you like so the team you’re working with can craft a strategy or design that’s as accurate and “you” as possible.

Do Some Studying

You don’t have to be a professional to grow your social media. Some quick research and basic knowledge will allow you to enhance your online presence and build your reputation on your own. For starters, check out Hubspot and Moz, two digital agencies with phenomenal blogs that offer information and tutorials on all things social media, and familiarize yourself with Google’s SEO Guide.

Not only will implementing some strategies before you work with an agency help you cut to the chase, but an understanding of social media terminology and the basic science behind online branding will allow you to communicate more effectively and analyze any suggestions from the agency on a more critical level.

Cut Costs by Doing Half the Work

If you or someone you know can code or design things, then you could save money by paying the digital agency for their strategies and advice and then doing some of the actual work yourself. They can advise you on how to build a social media profile, but if you want to save money in the long run and do it on your own, learn the ins and outs of Facebook, Twitter and WordPress management to save money and grow your business on your own.

Testing the Waters

Many digital agencies offer free consultations, and you can get a strong feel for their energy and the types of services they specialize in just by browsing through sites. Take your time to look up digital agencies in your area, but don’t hesitate to send an inquiry. Most of the time, you’ll be able to get information about what the agency could do for you with no obligation, and this form of comparison shopping will help match you with the right agency early on.

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Dixie SomersMeet the Author: Dixie Somers

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves writing for business, finance, and those with an entrepreneurial spirit. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Starting an Online Business

~by Joan Herbert~


You’ve decided that you want to start an online business. With the changing economy, the world of commerce is moving out of brick and mortar stores and into the web. With the digital revolution, many professionals are finding out that they can earn a decent living working remotely, from the comfort of their own homes.

online businessMost freelance writers, web designers and coders don’t have a business location and just work from home. Many run their businesses entirely online and take advantage of the multitude of communications options and marketing platforms available today.

Decide What You Are Selling

Are you providing a service or a product? You need to make sure that there is a demand for whatever it is you’re selling and that people will pay for the product or service. You can take advantage of search engines to see what people are searching for, and whether the product or service you’re selling is trending up or down. Once you settle on a product, you can begin planning your marketing strategy.

Find Your Audience

The first thing you need to do is find out who it is that is going to want to pay you for your product or service. You can use search engine keywords to find out what is trending, who is searching, and who is currently providing services to them. Find out where your target audience is most likely to see advertisements. Is it television? Facebook? Pop-up ads? Once you identify your potential customers and find out how to reach them, you can start sourcing your products or designing your services.

Design Your Site

An essential element of any online business is going to be your website. There are many options for this. You can set up an Amazon affiliate site, a Shopify or Etsy site, or you can spend the time building your own independent site. You may need to employ someone with expertise to help design your site and make it accessible, but having a strong website is crucial to strong sales numbers.

Get People to Your Site

online businessOnce your site is up and running and you’re ready to begin selling your product or providing your service, you need to go and get your customers. You need to find them where they are likely to be spending their time, and then you need to market appropriately. If your target audience spends most of their time on Facebook, you need to focus your attention on Facebook content that is easily sharable. If they’re on Twitter, that’s where you need to be, too. The key is to put your advertising in front of your target audience instead of waiting for them to find you.

Build Your Reputation

Maintaining a high-quality product and excellent customer service is important for any business, but it’s critical when you’re just starting out. You want to be certain that your customers are satisfied, and that they will leave good reviews. This may mean going above and beyond, and sometimes losing money to replace a product or redo a contract job, but it can be well worth it in the end. If your customers are upset, they’re going to leave a bad review, which can destroy a new business. Keep your customers happy at all costs in the beginning, at least until your business is thriving and sustainable.

Follow Up with Customers

If they liked your product or service, they’ll buy it again. Send out email advertising or discounts for return customers in order to increase sales. Reward customer loyalty with exclusive savings or market related products directly to them to keep your sales strong.

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Joan HerbertMeet the Author: Joan Herbert

Joan is an Assistant Manager at, a curious individual, avid reader, and a passionate creative writer.

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18 Things I Learned While Building My Facebook Group

~by Haley Lynn Gray~


I got the bright idea a couple of years ago to start a Facebook group to help me grow my business. I thought, “Why not? All of the other business coaches are doing it”. I figured I’d do it a bit differently… and march to the beat of my own drummer.

Then I got on a webinar a couple of months later, during Sales School with Kendrick Shope. She mentioned that a Facebook group is a great vehicle to grow your business; I was totally hooked.  

I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t made more than my fair share of mistakes and that I haven’t had my fair share of frustrations with building the Women’s Entrepreneur Network group on Facebook. But now it’s a dynamic, fun, ever-changing group.

Here are some things I learned while building my Facebook group:

1. Post content in the group regularly. 3-5 posts a day if no-one else is posting. You can post all kinds of things: funny videos, music videos, questions, other prompts, and more. But keep talking.

2. Invite your friends, but don’t add them to the group. What I mean is that you should send all of your friends a private message with an invitation to join the group, along with the link. Do not add your friends without their express permission. This tends to really annoy people and gets their tails in a twist.

3. Add a second Admin to your group as soon as possible. It is worth remembering that bad things can and do happen to Facebook accounts. If your account gets hacked, you want to have at least one friend who can let you back into the group once you re-create your ID. Otherwise you could be S-O-L.

4. Interact with people regularly. If they post, thank them for their post and comment on it. Interact with them. It can be very hard to get people to post quality content in your group, so encourage them and praise them for doing so. One of the mistakes I made early on was not always commenting on people’s posts. The more you engage people, the more they will be inclined to post. After a while, once you have people trained a bit, you won’t need to post and comment on everything, but it still builds loyalty if you do comment.

5. You need rules. YES! People will get upset that you have them. Those are probably the people you don’t want in your group anyway. A number of people have asked me how they’re supposed to get new business out of a group that doesn’t allow them to do drive-by posting. It works like this: You build relationships with people rather than broadcasting at them all the time. Try being a real, genuine human being. It’s amazing how well that works. (Crazy talk, I know)

Facebook group6. Pay attention to who is asking to join the group, and make sure you don’t accept fake profiles. If someone posts something illegal, immoral or unethical, they are out of there. The “Delete” and “Block” buttons are two of an Admin’s best friends.

7. Facebook Live in your group. This gives you a unique opportunity to engage with your followers. I recently took this one step further and upgraded Zoom to allow me to be able to do Facebook Live from my computer while I interview someone. (This requires Zoom Pro Plus Webinar 100, for a total cost of about $55 a month).  

8. Schedule your content. Use social media scheduling tools like Buffer or MeetEdgar. You can post manually, but you can’t be active in the group 24/7. It’s a great source of fun, but you need to have time away from the computer.  

9. Invite people to join your group from other social media platforms or pages – LinkedIn, Twitter, Webinar Thank-you pages, and more. Ask people to join your group from anywhere you can think of.

10. Run regular challenges. When you set up a formal program, like a challenge with activities and prompts for people to get involved, you get more more engagement and activity. The more value you deliver, the more people will want to be in the group. (Crazy idea, right?)

11. Set limits on how much time you spend in your group each day. I know that this is counterintuitive, but as things start to move along, you’ll be tempted to spend every waking moment in your group rather than doing other client-seeking activities. Limit your time there, and be mindful of how you are spending your time.

12. Make sure you regularly tell people what you do. People really do need to hear – often – what you do and how you can help them out. Don’t be shy about sharing quality content and occasionally pitching your and your business. 

13. Swap out the group’s header files occasionally to keep things fun and engaging.

14. Post the group rules. You can post them in the group description. You can also create a pinned post with the rules and attach them to the header graphic, or put a short link (e.g. bitly) in the graphic, so that the group rules are easily found. No matter how many times you remind group members to read the rules, chances are many will ignore what you’ve posted, or they just won’t bother.  

15. You may have to remove people from your group if they don’t follow the rules and just promote themselves all the time. That’s OK. If you have someone who only posts and never comments on anyone else’s posts, you may need to remove them. Don’t be afraid to remove someone who doesn’t fit in with the vision you have for your group.

16. As your group grows, get volunteers to help moderate and manage the group. I’ve seen some people spend a fortune on this, and to me, that does not make sense. Find ways to offer value to volunteers and create a community.   

17. Build a repository of content and questions you can use in the group. You can also set it up so that there is a posting theme each day of the week. The more you prompt people to engage, and encourage them to step up, the better your results will be.  

18. Be of service. Answer questions completely and honestly. One of my pet peeves is people who don’t fully answer questions, or people who tell others to private message them to get more information. Honestly, that sets up an atmosphere of distrust, and people don’t appreciate it.  

Building a Facebook group doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s mostly a question of being of service and putting a significant amount of value into the group. Make sure that you take care of yourself and don’t get totally sucked into it, or you can easily land yourself in the hospital!

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:

Work with Haley:

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